Just around the corner from Bond Street, a covered passage recently gained a burst of colour in the form of a large public art mural. It sits in a recently widened passage and is untitled or labelled, so it took a while to work out who made the mural.
It turned out that the artist is significant, as the mural is by Albert Oehlen, one of Berlin’s 1980s “bad boy” group of artists whose work defied categorization and refuted the artistic status quo. As an artist, Oehlen has pushed boundaries at times, particularly in his controversial portraits, and often worked in phases before switching to an entirely new genre and repeating.
This mural, made from mosaic, is an evolution of his work as it became more blocky over the decades and his recent move to collage and CAD-based murals.
The mural, called Mosaik, was added here as part of a planning agreement for the building above, which was being refurbished, and the council wanted something to brighten the previously gloomy passageway.
The mural was added in 2021 and is also downlit from above so it can be enjoyed at night.
The passageway is interesting as it exists for a reason and not just for access to the rear of the building. It sits right on top of the Tyburn Culvert, which is quite shallow here and prevented a building being erected on top.
So this mural above the street exists here thanks to the river below.